Chicago-area storms cause damage, more severe weather expected

A tornado touchdown in south Naperville on Saturday morning caused roof damage to a commercial building and downed trees and tree limbs, city officials said.

The National Weather Service reported the touchdown occurred at 5:41 a.m. on Route 59 and 95th Street. It was the second tornado to occur in Naperville in the past 13 months.

Most of the worst damage occurred near the mall anchored by the Jewel store in the 2800 block of West 95th Street, where photos posted online show trees toppled and the sign for Naperville Shopping Plaza toppled.

Gas leaks at commercial buildings in the area have been reported and contained, according to a city news release.

More than 250 people lost power near Washington Street and Gartner Road, but power was restored at 7 a.m. Saturday, the statement said.

Most of the damage occurred in the Highway 59 corridor between White Eagle Drive and Hassert Boulevard. Among the blocks blocked by debris were Bluebird Lane, Coneflower Drive, Copperfield Drive, Snowbird Lane, Callery Road, Robert Lane and Gleneagles Road.

Suchitra Kukreja, who lives on Rosinweed Lane east of Route 59 and just west of Riverview Farmstead Forest Reserve, said her home suffered more than $5,000 in damage, including a destroyed patio and a broken triple-glazed window, around 3 a.m.

The wind was strong at the time, she said, but she had no idea how big the storm was until she heard the window shattering on the first floor of the house of three. floors that she shares with her husband and their two children, aged 11. and 16.

“All of a sudden I heard the window shattering very loudly,” Kukreja said. “It was really bad but they gave us no notice. The sirens didn’t go off.

These came after the initial damage, around 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m., she said. The family took refuge in their basement until after landing more than an hour later, she said.

Kukreja was not alone in her anger that there had been no warning of the dangerous nature of the storm. Dozens of residents took to social media to post similar complaints.

“(W)e didn’t hear any sirens. I got severe thunderstorm warnings on one of my weather apps. But not a tornado warning,” one person said.

“Where were the mermaids, Naperville?” We haven’t heard anything either! another wrote.

The last tornado to pass through Naperville occurred on the night of June 1, 2021.

At its peak, it was an EF-3 with sustained wind speeds of up to 140 mph. Several people were injured and 231 structures in Naperville were severely damaged, 19 of which were deemed uninhabitable by the city.

The location of Saturday’s tornado on Route 59 is not far from the devastating tornado that hit Plainfield in 1993, killing 29 people and injuring 353.

The National Weather Service also confirmed that a second tornado occurred early Saturday morning in Crest Hill. The tornado “tracked south into the North Side of Joliet before lifting,” officials said in a tweet. The tornado was assigned a preliminary rating of EF-0, with peak winds estimated at 70 mph, according to the tweet.

Meanwhile, in Lake County, state transportation officials were clearing water Saturday on U.S. Route 41 near Lake Bluff, with the road closed from Routes 137 through 176, according to the county sheriff’s office. of Lake.

When Lake Bluff resident Kris Rosiak looked outside his home around 6 a.m. Saturday, he noticed overnight storms had flooded his yard.

“Our home was basically an island,” Rosiak said. “Many of our neighbors suffered basement damage.”

His house is on the west side of Lake Bluff, just east of Green Bay Road and west of the train tracks that divide the east and west sides of town.

It took a few hours for the water to recede, Rosiak said, and some roads were still flooded and closed, including the overpass that runs under the Metra train and connects residents to the downtown business district.

“It’s like a 14-foot release and the water is all the way to the top,” Rosiak said. “It’s still closed at this point.”

His son, who was awake until about 2 a.m., saw it start to rain, he said. But torrential thunderstorms, thunder and lightning arrived around 4 a.m., Rosiak said.

“It looked like buckets were flowing,” he said. “It looked like it was raining from the side too. It fell in a hurry.”

Rosiak’s basement was not badly damaged, although water got inside and soaked their carpet, he said. He saw some less fortunate neighbors on Saturday morning removing furniture and carpeting from their basements.

“Storm drains just can’t handle it,” Rosiak said. “We see that with heavy rain quite frequently, unfortunately.”

Heavy storms seem to be happening more frequently, Rosiak said.

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“We have that over and over again,” he said. “I don’t know what the city is doing about it. That doesn’t seem like a lot. But again, it just seems to be a more frequent occasion and we seem to continue to get lucky.

Friday night’s storm made its way out of the Chicago area and into central Illinois and northwestern Indiana, said National Weather Service meteorologist Zachary Yack. On Saturday, another storm was heading into Chicagoland from southern Minnesota and Iowa.

Any area around Interstate 80 in the southern suburbs east of Gary, Indiana and north of the Wisconsin state line is “fair game” for where the wave of thunderstorms could strike, Yack said. This storm will also bring damaging winds of up to 70 mph, he said.

“Also another round of torrential rains,” Yack said. “And there’s a chance we could see a few tornadoes here and there later in the evening and early in the night.”

The worst is expected to reach the Chicago area in the evening and well into midnight, with possible storms building up behind the main storm system and continuing to bring rain tomorrow morning and perhaps early the next day. -midday.

Yack said people should be on their toes and have multiple ways to receive warning alerts.

“It is important to ensure that you have means (to obtain) warnings that can wake you up in the middle of the night in case we issue warnings during the night while you sleep,” he said. declared.

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